Keep Climbing the Stairs of Inquiry to Prevent Slip Sliding Away
I don’t know about you, but to me this Paul Simon song makes a whole lot of sense in May. The seniors are sliding, the juniors are jelly, the sophomores are slumping, and the freshmen haven’t changed (**wink**).
So what can we do about the slip-slide? Well, we have to keep moving upward or we will begin to slide backward. A cursory internet search under “things that teachers do at the end of the school year to keep students engaged” will link you to site after site that often suggest you get students out of their seats and into some inquiry based learning. Inquiry based learning is all about giving students the freedom to investigate, explore, probe, examine, review, analyze a question or problem. Structures like Learning Menus and Tic-Tac-Toe Boardsare excellent frameworks for inquiry activities that help teachers organize inquiry activities so each student (or group of students) is guided down a path that allows for choice without compromising on depth of knowledge. In fact, the last line of Paul Simon's song, as shown below, is less likely to occur if we keep the students engaged, which we can certainly do through inquiry based learning.
As an added bonus, our blog post “Individualized Learning through Independent Projects” written by Nikhil Marda (a senior at John Marshall High School), published in April of 2017, gives a student perspective on why inquiry based learning is important and how it engages students.
Song lyrics from: Simon, Paul. Slip Slidin’ Away. Columbia Records, 1977.
This post brought to you by Dan Devine, Secondary Implementation Associate
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